With summer lice outbreaks around New Jersey, it’s been a busy week here at NJ Lice Lady. I’ve seen families from Monmouth County all the way up to Passaic County. One thing is certain, back to school lice outbreaks are sure to be plentiful once more this year. As we sit here on August 8th, I know of more than one day camp in the area that has dealt with lice recently. My experience tells me that, with the rise in pesticide resistance among head lice and the misinformation most parents are either given by friends or seek out on the Internet, the current outbreaks will easily convert to a school-time issue. In fact, as is usually the case, October will likely prove to be the worst month for identification of these cases of lice. Some children will spend the month of September spreading lice to their friends before their lice problem is identified.

As the mom of a newly-minted cheerleader, and a soon-to-be 9 year old girl, I am bracing myself for the possibility that I could find myself treating my own child this year. I’m often asked for words of advice. Here is a handy guide to facts and tips you can use to help keep your family lice free. Feel free to print yourself a copy!Basic Lice Facts and Tips for Lice Prevention In addition to these basic tips and facts about lice, it is important that parents understand that it’s their job to be checking their kids for lice regularly. The proper way to do this is by combing through the hair with a GOOD QUALITY stainless steel nit comb. There is simply no substitute for a good comb.

Got questions about lice and how to handle your own family’s lice outbreak? Don’t be shy…email me at

or give me a call to schedule an appointment in New Jersey (908)548-4480.

All rights reserved 2011-2014. Material may not be reproduced without express written consent of the Author.

Just about every day I talk to a mom who tells me her lice story. It goes like this, “My daughter was sent home from school last week with nits, she didn’t have any live ones, just nits (myth alert: you cannot ONLY have nits, you need lice to lay them in the hair. Nits do not transfer from one person to another). We did “the” treatment (as if there is only one out there) and we cleaned everything in the house. We washed all the pillows, blankets, we sprayed the furniture with the spray (some treatment kits come with a handy dandy pesticide you can spray all over your house which is both ineffective and unnecessary), we bagged all the stuffed animals and we’ve been washing everything in hot water every day(wait for it…) and I’m STILL seeing things in her hair!”

This mom, and millions like her, has suffered under the delusion that she can eliminate lice in her family by cleaning everything, using toxic pesticide sprays on everything her family touches, changing the sheets every day and bagging everything that isn’t nailed down. Upon further questioning I usually uncover the following:

  1. She has only visually checked remaining family members and has likely missed at least one other case in the family (and it’s most likely on HER head)
  2. She is using the drugstore variety nit comb, which I believe exists only to encourage the future purchase of lice removal products

Somewhere, probably on the Internet, she read the myth that you can clean your house and get rid of lice. What I always try to explain to the folks who call me is that lice don’t live in places or on things, they live on people. Human head lice do two things that we are absolutely aware of…they eat and they reproduce. Their food source is human blood and the only place they can get it is on a human head. Head lice live from the neck up (which should answer the OTHER question we usually get) on human beings. They lay their eggs on the hair shaft of the human host. They don’t live on dogs (even dogs with “hair”) because regardless of the type or quality of that hair, dogs are not human and their blood is different. Lice are species specific parasites.

If you want to eradicate a lice problem in your family you need to do ALL of the following:

  1. Check EVERY family member who has hair (bald dads get the buy here) with a good quality stainless steel nit comb for the presence of nits and/or lice
  2. Treat EVERY family member upon whom nits and/or lice are found properly. This means using something that eradicates all live activity and also removing all nits from the hair
  3. Do some common sense cleaning to eliminate the possibility of reinfestation from the home environment.
  4. Inform the social circles of all affected children, as well as School or Camp Nurses, after school activities (i.e. dance, martial arts, gymnastics, cheer, etc.)

If you have questions about how to treat lice properly, or about identifying lice in your family, please email me


All Rights Reserved 2011-2014. Material may not be reproduced without express written consent from the Author.